When you have been injured in a car crash caused by the negligence (or, in other words, the carelessness) of another person, you need to immediately take the right steps to ensure that you first protect your health, and then protect your legal rights.
Promptly Get the Proper Medical Care You Need
The most important thing to do right after you have been injured in a car crash is to promptly obtain the proper medical care you need.
Very often, the sooner you receive the proper medical care you need, the less serious an injury you may ultimately suffer, and the faster you can get better. If you are unable to leave your car or the scene of the crash under your own power, do not try to do so, unless of course you are at greater risk of physical harm by staying in the car or at the crash scene. Otherwise, wait until emergency medical personnel arrive, and after they examine you, defer to their medical judgment regarding whether you should try to move or should let them transport you via ambulance to a hospital emergency department.
Even if you are able to leave the crash scene on your own power and the emergency medical personnel do not recommend ambulance transport to a hospital emergency department, promptly go to an urgent care clinic or your primary care physician. Remember that your adrenaline is likely still pumping throughout your body, which is nature’s way of helping you fight back – but adrenaline often temporarily masks your pain and other symptoms. That’s why many car crash victims report that they physically feel much worse the next morning after a car crash, upon awakening from bed.
When You Do Obtain Medical Care:
- first mentally scan your body from head to toe;
- then report to the medical provider each and every one of the symptoms and signs of injury that you are experiencing, going from head to toe, no matter how minor you may think those symptoms or signs may be; minor symptoms or signs frequently get worse over time if not properly addressed; and
- do your best to ensure that the medical provider is accurately recording in your medical records what you are telling him or her.
Then Protect Your Legal Rights
If you are physically capable of doing so while still at the crash scene:
- exchange information with the careless driver, being sure to obtain his or her full name, home address, license plate, and insurance information; if you can, take pictures on your smartphone of the other driver’s license, registration card, and proof of insurance;
- fully cooperate with the investigating police officer who responds to the crash scene;
- obtain the full names, home addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of ALL witnesses to the crash;
- at the crash scene, take pictures on your smartphone of your car and the careless driver’s car while they are still at their original resting points immediately following the crash;
- take pictures of the general car crash scene, especially tire marks or “skid marks” on the roadway; debris from the crash on the roadway; the traffic control devices such as traffic lights, stop signs, etc.; all important road signs; the weather conditions; the road conditions; and any factors that affect visibility.
Then Do The Following:
- as soon as you can after the cars have been towed to a storage lot or body shop, take detailed pictures of the damage to your car and, if possible, the damage to the careless driver’s car; take pictures of ALL four sides of each car, even if you cannot detect visible damage to a particular side;
- as soon as you can, have a family member or close friend take pictures of your visible injuries, going from head to toe; and have him or her take periodic updated pictures as well; and
- as soon as you can, write down as best you can remember what, if anything, the other driver told you at the crash scene, especially if he or she admitted to you that he or she was at fault for the crash or otherwise careless.
Contact the Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP
At the Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP, we enjoy more than 60 years of combined legal experience. To learn how we can help protect your legal rights after you have been injured in a car crash, call us at 484-842-0531 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon your request.
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